Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Evening with Bats in Iowa.

We have had some cooler nights lately...  And Cheryl, with her injury still bothering her,  has consented to evening walks.   I like the evening walks in Iowa.   Well, not the walking part so much.   But I do like the Fawna we get to see.   Like Deer!


I also like feeding the horses and dogs we see along the way.

 And every now and then a colorful sunset.


But most impressive were the bats the other day.    There were so many flying bugs in the cornfields, that it looked as if it were snowing!   ( Pity the pictures did not turn out with the setting sun blinding everything)  But as the sun set, the bats came out in force!   I have seen several fluttering around our house, but this night there were dozens!   Very cool.   We found a dead one ( after a rather windy storm) and I believe they are the "Big Brown Bat" Species.  ( That is the actual name.  Look it up..)


And lastly,   for the last week,  I have seen this Cuckoo bird chasing around its adopted parent.   I knew that a Parasite bird had invaded one of the locals nests.  ( I saw the casualties on the sidewalk)

But the Cuckoo confirms it.  He is at least three times larger than his parents and they feverishly attempt to stuff him with anything that is edible.   Sometimes Nature can be so insidious with it's strategies for survival.  Killing unborn young and replacing it with your own is simply appalling.  But it apparently works.   Who ever said Mother Nature was fair and just?   ( She is NOT!)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far.   Cheryl and I have been working on our next presentation for the Farmer's Market.  Fingers crossed on how things go this time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Muscatine HUGE National Farmer's Market...Day.

Cheryl has been working very hard all week trying to up her sales at the Muscatine Farmer's market.   We were told that this Saturday,  the market was going to have "record vendors" and a HUGE crowd...  so we better get there early and prepare for an "abundance of sales!"

 We, of course, saw right through this little sales pitch and recognized that this was most likely to keep the farmers there instead of going to the Iowa State Fair this weekend.   Nevertheless,  We prepared for the "bumper crop of sales" that we knew was most likely all hype.



That all being said,  Cheryl did fair.   Almost a repeat of last weeks sales. (in fact,  slightly better.) The crowds were NOT huge, but steady and the "Record" for vendors must have been very low...because there were only about three additional vendors there.  Still,  there were familiar, friendly faces that are worth coming back for.   And it is always fun to show off your new items on the new table.
Farmer's Market Air-force manufacture

On patrol..  


It started cold but as soon as the sun came out, the heat increased.   I was happy to shed the jacket around 9:00 A.M.  But for the remainder of the show, I pretty much passed the time folding my small fleet of F15 Fighter Jets.

Cheryl is my Wing man....
There really is possibly nothing as peculiar as a grown man playing with paper airplanes at a farmer's market.
Protecting the skies  from dragonflies!
 But,  it helped the time fly by for me.   Cheryl informed me that we were in the final hour and I felt like we had just started!   Origami is great ( and terrible!) that way.

In addition to Airplanes,  Try figuring out what other models I folded....   Here are some hints.
It's a bird!

It's a Plane!
It's a butterfly?
It's a dragon fly?  
It's a Flower....

model reveled


.
Still a flower....
So now, we are back home and totally exhausted.   The show was not a show stopper... both good or bad..  so we will most likely continue to show up for a few more weeks.   Cheryl is excited to try out the show in Coralville on Monday.   We shall see how the city folks like her stuff.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Disasters Breed Resourcefulness.

Sounded kind of like that.

Hmmm,  Something appears to be missing.
Last night we were awoken by what sounded like the total collapse of our apartment.  I was in one of those "half awake" stages.   But the really freaky part was that the bedroom light was on.   And we only have one cat who does not know how to turn lights on or off.    Upon further investigation, we discovered that one of the bookshelves/cabinets pulled out of the wall.   Crash!

I wonder where it landed?
Did my thread holder always look like this?
With a groggy mindset,  I could see that the actual IKEA cube was not damaged...But,  the drawer set below it was severely damaged!   It also broke the light switch and my favorite thread holder.   I had to go to bed with the thought of how I would have to fix/clean up that mess.

So basically I got no sleep... However!   I formulated a plan.

Cabinet is back!   Thought slightly "off."
Time to recycle the old coffee table top
Apparently the anchors were enough to hold the cabinet up there for 7 months on their own.   I could not find a stud to screw into, so I relied on the heaviest duty wall mounts we could find.   My one error:   I only put in the two that IKEA had supplied.   With a couple extra on the bottom and a new hole to tap into, I was able to put the shelving unit back up....   fairly easy.   I also unloaded several of the books it was holding.   ( A little less weight can't hurt.)

Cracked top removed.
Drilling holes in the rough cut board.
Then came the time to repair/replace the drawer set.    Being always in some state of poverty,  I thought that repairing it would be the cheapest.   I had a board in the shed,   borrowed a Skill saw from the neighbor and Boom! Fixed!  Sure it is not as pretty,  but it is functional and will do the job until we replace it properly.  Perhaps after the Christmas season.
Finished!  Not pretty, but it works.

Good thing my Dad was Swedish.
I think my Dad would be impressed.   Not in the craftsmanship or anything....but the resourcefulness!   And the fact that I was able to repair two damaged household items with no money spent.  (He was very frugal.)
My job when helping Dad.  


 There are moments I catch myself becoming him.... including all the things that bugged me about him I was growing up. (He would forget where his tools were while he was working on something.  My job was to hand him stuff.)

 Cheryl is supposed to hand me my tools as I need them,  but she was busy today.   So I had to rely on my own failing memory to remember where I laid the hammer and screwdriver.    Even then I still "lost" them.

Still a few little jobs to tackle.
I still have to repair the light switch,  but that will require replacing it.   In the mean time, we will simply have to use the shortened stump that remains.

Tomorrow is Farmer's Market again.  Cheryl has been working feverishly and we will want to get their earlier than last week for the best spots.   Apparently, there will be music and BBQ along with a free raffle.    Perhaps it will draw in a larger crowd.... or not.   Either way,  Cheryl wants to be prepared.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stormy Day in Iowa.

Another strange weather event in Iowa.   Well,  not really that strange anymore.   Basically,   a squall suddenly erupted on a calm bright sunny day...  and for a few moments it became dark and stormy.    Now,  about a half hour later,   everything is back to normal as if it never happened.


 It's a good thing we did not have to run today.   Then again,  Cheryl likes running in the rain.   Of course,  when it rains this hard,  even she might pause for a moment.  
The good news is that a cold front is moving in ( moved in)  and it will be cooler temps for the remainder of the weekend.  No rain and cooler temps will make the farmer's market more pleasant to endure.   Cheryl has been working like a woman possessed, so we are looking forward to the weekend.  Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Happy Birthday to ME!

Is it really a celebration?
Today,  I am officially one year older than I was last year.  And to Celebrate the momentous achievement of staying alive another year,  I decided to dedicate this blog post to ME...and just me.

Hmm,   After about 2 seconds of searching,  I see that there are very few pictures of me.    And upon a little self reflection,  I realize that my life is rather boring.  Who would have guessed?


Is this really very exciting?


Origami bugs, frogs and lizards? 
Cheryl thinks this has a future.


With my awesome abs being hidden by a three inch layer of blubber,  and with a bank account that stresses "part-timer",  the only thing I could possibly post on this day would probably be my Origami.   Which is kind of sad.   Who,  other than an origami artist,  would ever brag that they do Origami?  (And not even the best stuff out there.)

Looks more scrunched than folded.
Making tomorrow's paper today.
So I have been focusing on paper-making as of late, and working on slightly more complex models.   Mostly, my models end up looking more like wrinkled tissue paper rather than elegant folded sculptures.  But it keeps me out of trouble....most of the time.

Embroidery skill at work.
Cheryl has big plans.....for me.
In-between folding stuff,  I have been helping Cheryl with her projects.   I fire up the embroidery machine, cut out her linings and felt tops,  and sometimes sew on her button eyes.  It fills in the gaps between reclining on the couch and playing my video games.

Pumpkin Beer!    'Tis the Season.  
So as I inch ever so closer to the grave,  I try to think back on my accomplishments and the wisdom I have learned (and not learned...) and try to celebrate the best way I can with the limited funds at my disposal.  I could have contributed to my lower middle-class middle and bought a huge birthday cake with a side of ice cream.
With Mandarin Oranges... from a can.

Sockeye Salmon Sushi roll
 But instead,  I wanted to save money and celebrate the "end of Summer" and the "beginning of Fall" at the same time....  with some Pumpkin Beer!  What could possibly be better?  (Other than a trunk full of cash...)  And maybe some of Cheryl's Sockeye Salmon Sushi!

'cause poor people have to make it themselves.
Slightly off topic ( I knew this would happen!)  There was a Lunar Eclipse yesterday.....afternoon.
We missed it here in North America.
   If you missed it, it was most likely because you live on this side of the planet and the bright sun was in our eyes.  (North/South America)  Only the people of Europe, Africa, and Asia got to enjoy it.   BUT!   We shall have the last laugh in another 2 weeks.    For a TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE will happen on the 21st!    And I want the T-shirt...
My New Life Goal


With this!  I will see the Eclipse...
The path of the shadow will happen just south of Iowa.   With a little luck and a lot of determination,  I'm hoping to recover enough loose change from the couch to be able to afford the trip.   Cheryl has her Tokyo Marathon fund ( money found in various parking lots) ....  I'm starting the "Ethan Allen's Total Eclipse Fund!"   Which sounds kind of odd....   but eh!  ( shrug)  It's money!

So that is all from Wellman, Iowa on this lovely August 8th day in 2017.  And, as usual, I appear as a footnote in my own postings.  It sometimes feels as if I'm living a dream....  Not in the sense that my life is so charmed and awesome...  but rather as if I'm in a constant dream state in the clouds of "make believe".   It reminds me of a song...

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